March 2020 Monthly Newsletter
Updated: Apr 16
Message from the President - Molly Crawford
I hope my message finds you safe and healthy. COVID-19 is real. This is a time like no other we’ve known. It is extremely challenging for our programs, systems, and people. Even those forward thinking jurisdictions fortunate enough to have had a continuity of operations plan (COOP) in place, are finding that many of the questions and concerns coming into our offices are not addressed in the COOPs. We are challenged to respond to emerging needs and give direction without much guidance. This is exhausting. Know you are not alone.
NAPHSIS is here. Members of NAPHSIS are here. Vital Records and Health Statistics staff across the nation are here—for you. As often as we say there are 57 jurisdictions and 57 different ways we do things, the truth is, we really all are similar. And, right now, we all face the uncertainty of a health crisis and the same questions and concerns from the public, the partners we rely on for vital event registration, the issuance offices and deputy registrars, and the users of our data. Reach out if you need help. Share what you are doing to respond in your community and state. Ask others how they solved a problem. Together we are stronger than any one of us is alone.
The NAPHSIS Board of Directors met in person earlier this month in Salt Lake City. This was just before the health crisis was labeled as a pandemic, and before any of us realized what this would mean for all of us professionally and personally. Like many of you when traveling and trying to coordinate dinner arrangements and group activities, we exchanged cell numbers. Little did we know that our unimportant group texts would become our immediate communication vehicle that connects us across the country and keep a pulse on things. It’s helped us share emerging issues, news of what our states are doing to respond, and the pains for mobilizing our mostly in-office workforce to telework. It’s been a lifeline and comfort to know that others understand and that others are there to help.
NAPHSIS connects us similar to a group text. It’s our network—and right now, a safety net. More than once I’ve heard members and staff refer to vital records as a “family.” We’re all related through our work—NAPHSIS and its members are the family we adopt—you are our kin. We got you! Use the NAPHSIS Members Only website to connect with others. Read and post information and questions on the Discussion Board. If you have trouble accessing members only, send an email to HQ@naphsis.org. In the meantime, stay healthy and take care of yourself.
Executive Director Report - Shawna Webster
National Advocacy around the COVID-19 Response
We all recognize the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, is an escalating crisis in our communities, our country, and globally. In the United States alone, cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in all 50 states, and there have been over 61,167 confirmed cases and 849 deaths attributed to the virus.
At NAPHSIS, we recently put up a COVID-19 response site on the public facing website, and more detailed COOP and emergency preparedness and response information available as a members only group. We encourage you to share any resources you have at the jurisdiction level that may help another jurisdiction with workforce issues, security, long term continuity of operations planning and closures.
At the National level, NAPHSIS and our public health colleagues have been busy advocating for our state and local constituents. Please visit our news site here for an update on a few relevant activities NAPHSIS is involved in here in Washington and regarding the federal government's response to COVID-19.
In breaking news, the negotiated draft text of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes $500 million in FY20 for CDC’s Data Modernization Initiative (page 120)! The funds are available through September 30, 2024. The Senate aims to vote later this afternoon with the House expected to follow through unanimous consent procedures.
COVID-19 has shed light on significant gaps in our public health data infrastructure. The lack of seamless and interoperable data systems has added additional stress to our health care and public health systems. With this funding, Congress has demonstrated support for the Data Modernization Initiative and recognizes the importance of transitioning public health data systems to automated, interoperable, electronic systems.
As many of you have seen, we have circulated a draft of our FY21 appropriations request letter. As we move forward from COVID-19, we will continue to push for our FY21 request of $100 million to continue to build and sustain an enterprise-wide 21st Century Public Health Data Superhighway. Technology is rapidly evolving and public health must keep pace with technological advancements by continually upgrading data systems and ensure information is secure through the latest technology. Public health data systems have fallen behind over the past decade because crosscutting resources have not been available, and we must not allow this investment become obsolete. We must build upon the improvements made and continue to provide annual adequate resources for public health to implement advance technologies and train the next generation of data scientists. As the FY21 appropriations process unfolds, please look for additional information and resources from us. We will continue to keep this community updated.
If you have any other ideas and or information to share with the rest of the NAPHSIS membership, please email Katey Frederking.
Thank you for all the work that you do! Stay safe out there.
Upcoming Webinars and Events
Wednesday, April 8 @ 2pm ET
April VSCP Project Directors Call
Wednesday, April 22 @ 3pm ET
Wednesday, April 29 @ 3pm ET
Fetal Death Webinar Series: Differentiating fetal deaths from infant deaths and ITOP
We are excited to announce an upcoming series of webinars dedicated to EVVE and EVVE FOD. These webinars will be recorded for those unable to attend.
Tuesday, April 14 @ 2pm ET
Interjurisdiction Fraud Query (IFQ) and EVVE Report Menu Webinar
Tuesday, August 11 @ 2pm ET
EVVE and EVVE Fact-Of-Death Webinar
NAPHSIS Annual Meeting
For more information on the status of the Annual Meeting due to COVID-19, please click here.
Nov 30 – Dec 2
NAPHSIS Identity & Security Conference
For any questions about NAPHSIS Events, please email Katey Frederking.
Free Geocoding Resources from Texas A&M University
The Texas A&M University (TAMU) GeoInnovation Service Center has been authorized to provide assistance to the national and international public health communities by providing free and unlimited access to the TAMU Geocoding Platform for COVID-19 public health-related surveillance, treatment, and control in the United States.
Follow these steps for access:
1. Sign up for an account at https://geoservices.tamu.edu.
2. Fill out the COVID-19 Geocoding Request Form.
3. TAMU will review your request as soon as possible and add processing credits to your account once approved.
4. For questions, concerns, demo's, and how-to's, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
USALEEP Estimates for Maine and Wisconsin Now Available
Census tract-level life expectancy estimates are available for the first time in Maine and Wisconsin. These estimates are available in the updated United States Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project (USALEEP) report and by download at the NCHS Site. A new interactive map was also released that allows users to explore life expectancy data from their neighborhood to the national level. These new data products—released by USALEEP, a joint effort among NAPHSIS, NCHS, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)—show how people living just a few neighborhoods apart may have vastly different opportunities for a long life.
RWJF’s data interactive has also been updated, allowing users to look up the life expectancy estimate for their neighborhood and direct them to resources that can help them work with others in their community to provide opportunities so everyone has the ability to live a long, healthy life.
Service User Agreement Signed with LexisNexis
This contract will greatly expand the reach of EVVE Fact of Death (FOD) to new death data markets and has been worked on extensively by the EVVE Committee, NAPHSIS counsel, NAPHSIS personnel, the EVVE Management Team, and the Board of Directors. It was always envisioned and stated in the contract that LexisNexis would be a conduit through which NAPHSIS could offer EVVE FOD to companies with more complex structures or in need of HIPAA compliance. We expect to see a jump in revenue through this Agreement.
With the Service User Agreement signed, these companies may begin using EVVE Fact of Death effective June 2, 2020 and will follow our current data security measures including extensive background checks by LexisNexis and signing our carefully crafted contract. They and any end-user companies they have will be reviewed and credentialed by the EVVE Management Team and upon approval placed into the appropriate EVVE FOD category.
For any questions or comments, please reach out to email@example.com
Call for State Representatives as Expert SMEs for Development of FHIR Birth and Fetal Death Implementation Guide
NCHS has released a call for participation of vital records state/jurisdictional representatives in the development of a Health Level Seven International (HL7) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) Implementation Guide (IG) for Birth and Fetal Death Reporting (BFDR). The call for participation describes the role that participants will play in this effort and the expected timeline. Main points from the call for participation:
This call is for creating a new workgroup for development of a BFDR FHIR IG
NCHS is seeking a total of (6) state vital records representatives (2 representatives from each of 3 states) to participate in the workgroup
Conference calls will begin in May 2020 (exact date and time to be determined)
We will test the BFDR IG at the September HL7 FHIR Connectathon in Baltimore
DEADLINE: Please submit names to Cindy (firstname.lastname@example.org) before April 10 for NCHS travel approval
If you have any questions please reach out to the NCHS standards development team:
Hetty Khan (email@example.com)
Cindy Bush (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alaina Gregory (email@example.com)
EVVE Data Center Migration
EVVE servers are being migrated soon, we will share more details in an upcoming communication dedicated to jurisdictions on this matter. Depending on the setup of network configurations of your jurisdiction, the impact will vary - for some, it will have no impact, for others, it will require an IT support ticket. For all, this will be a great opportunity to document where the EVVE connections point to. Documenting this information will be critical for future uses, such as needing to reconnect or update.
New EVVE User Group
We are also launching an EVVE User Group for Administrators, which includes a monthly call serving as ‘office hours’ for any questions or concerns, an O365 Group with document sharing and listserv functionality and NAPHSIS staff support. The first meeting will be April 1 at 3pm ET. If you are interested in participating in the EVVE User Group, or have topic suggestions and questions for the group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For account management assistance such as password resets, technical support or any questions or concerns related to the EVVE system, please contact the EVVE helpdesk: email@example.com.
North Carolina State Center For Health Statistics Job Posting
The NC State Center for Health Statistics (SCHS) reposted the position that serves as the Director of the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics (SCHS). The SCHS is located in the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health (DPH). The SCHS Director will serve as the policy, technical, and administrative leader for the NC SCHS as it organizes, implements, and evaluates a comprehensive, high quality, and efficient health statistical system.The job posting closes on April 8, 2020 at 5pm Eastern Time. Please click here to learn more.
Reminder: Upcoming Board Election At the request of the Board of Directors we are cancelling the two "Meet the Candidate" webinars. During this unprecedented time we want to ensure that all members have time to focus on ongoing operations in their jurisdictions. The election will proceed as scheduled. However, in lieu of the webinars, we are asking members to review candidate bios to help guide decision making. Election Schedule: Election: Apr 3 - Apr 15 Election Results Announced: Apr 20 NAPHSIS Membership Dues
Many thanks to those jurisdictions that have already submitted their 2020 dues! These payments are being put to work through the many NAPHSIS products and services supporting your offices. For those jurisdictions that have NOT yet paid their dues, please contact NAPHSIS headquarters to let us know your payment status. As a reminder, jurisdictions that have NOT paid their dues will be precluded from fully-participating in upcoming training, meetings, and will be unable to vote in the upcoming election.
Each jurisdiction receives five agency memberships with payment of their dues. Jurisdictions that have paid their dues can review their list of current members on the Members Contact list. Updates to account for any changes or additions to your office can be sent by email. As a reminder, additional staff can be added to your membership for a per person fee of $50, and you can request an invoice that reflects these additional memberships by contacting Stephanie N'Garsanet.